Monday, August 14, 2006

Arrgh these insect bites

We get bitten to bits here every August, probably because that's when the harvest starts and the combines disturb all the sap sucking insects. When we first moved here I blamed our poor old dog for getting fleas and bathed him within an inch of his life. But I soon discovered that everyone gets bitten, and then like magic it stops as soon as we get the first night frost, usually around the first week in September. But September is a long way off, and working in the garden is just a chore when you leave 1% of yourself out there every time you go out to work the soil!

My astrantia elimination project is progressing, I reckon I only have about a sixth of the garden to dig it out of. Yesterday I visited the local Sunday market and bought up some perennial "rescue" plants, the ones that look sad now, but will be fine again next year. I got about five plants for £1 each, a huge saving. Best was a huge pot of pink Monarda, the plant which is used to scent Earl Grey tea. I've also created a euphorbia patch, moving some worthy seedlings and also introducing a fabulous new dwarf one called Blackbird, which as the name suggest has almost completely black foliage. I've put this one near my other new aquisition, a nearly black sedum. I love money saving ways of obtaining new plants, gardening shouldn't be about spending a fortune or instant gratification.

Sad news is the sparrowhawk has reached our garden, I had hoped the number of trees would stop it predating on the small birds that visit us, but yesterday I found a huge number of sparrow feathers under the plum tree and it won't have been a cat, as the dog makes sure they never tarry for very long. Anyway "visitor numbers" to the feeders are down this morning so something's up.

Saturday's half marathon race was a good event, the winning man did a really fast time, though I can't tell you how fast as stats like that go in one ear and out the other.
But I had to rescue a poor young guy from the first water station, as the combine dust had given him all the early signs of an asthma attack. He could have waited for the Red Cross ambulance to come round, but that would have left him standing around longer, and he wanted to get back to the changing room to his inhaler. So I drove him back to town. He was inconsolable at having to quit the race as he'd been training hard for it. I really admire asthma sufferes who take part in sport, it must be terrifying to feel your lungs constricting like that.

For some reason pictures won't load today, so I'll try to add a race picture later.


Blogger Life of a Banana said...

Did you have to give the poor young man mouth to mouth?

12:16 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:09 pm  
Blogger Cailleach said...

Your garden sounds like it has plenty of room in it. I've always wanted a bigish garden, but keep ending up with small postage stamp size ones that the kids batter around in leaving very little room for plants.
Ah well, they'll be big enough soon and the garden will always be there...

1:40 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Now , now banana. Anyway he was ginger, and ever since I bought a flat years ago and kept finding ginger pubes everywhere I have a sort of thing about it ginger hair. Maybe I should just have a thing about hoovering instead.

Cailleach, you're right you'll get the garden back at some point, it's more important that the kids have fun in it. This garden was a plantswoman's garden when we bought it, so I've always felt duty bound to try and keep it going for the sake of the old lady we bought it from. It had been in her family from when it was built. It's nothing grand, just an old Victorian semi with a long strip of garden at the back.

2:22 pm  
Anonymous pulcinella said...

Hello Apprentice, I'm so glad I finally found your site. I clicked on your name in my comments box and was redirected to a kind of porn catalogue. Another commenter told me you were Comment Spam, but I remembered you were the one accused of having crabs on jonnyB's site. I've read through some of your posts, fascinating stuff this.

3:23 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Hi Pulcinella. Funny you've such problems. Hope I haven't been hijacked, and if I have I hope they are fairly benign lol!

4:49 pm  
Blogger PI said...

At this time of year white Japanese anenomes save my bacon. They were here brfore us - 1985 and are the greatest value.

12:21 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Hi Pi,

Yes they fill the gap well don't they. I have pink ones, they've been flowering since mid July, way earlier than usual

12:29 pm  

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